I was recently asked to transfer a colleagues open reel tape to CD. This was a recording that had been in their family for an unknown period of time – but certainly more than 50 years. This was nothing new for me as I’ve spent years working with analog tape in recording studios, owned a business converting legacy formats to more modern media, and had the privilege of restoring and transferring original multitrack master recordings, such as Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell”. Yet, it’s been a while since I’ve needed one of my analog machines.
The process of aligning the machine and prepping the tape led me to think about how much has changed over the years. As my mind wandered while the tape was winding on the machine, I was taken back to several hours earlier in the same day when I was asked to put together a class for Almo’s E4 on Dante, AVB, Cobranet, and other network-based signal distribution methods. Relatively speaking, this is a newer subject for me, but something I look forward to teaching. The request was an outgrowth of my suggesting classes on digital transport protocols – which I know extremely well, have taught many times over the years…. but as time marches on, so does relevance. Technology that once mattered is dated. What is pertinent, changes. What took a decent computer and paid good money 7 years ago, my fifth graders do on their iPad.
While I truly love giving presentations, I waffled on if I should teach the class. In comparing my relatively new knowledge on network signal distribution methods, with subjects I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing for a quarter century, this seemed moderately daunting. Yet, I do know it well enough to help others get their start. I just need to set expectations accordingly and dive in. There may be attendees with more experience on the subject who will ask questions that I can’t answer – at least not when they are first asked. But it will give me and everyone one in attendance a better idea of what we should be asking, along with the opportunity to find the answers and share them with the group later.
Transferring this old analog tape took me back in time and across the years. Showing clearly in retrospect, something we all know: the only constant is change, and the rate is an exponential progression.
So where does all this bring us? Dante and the collision of AV and IT may be intimidating. But this is just part of the ride. You can hang on and hope for the best or try to stay ahead of it. Either way, the past is gone – just like many people on the 50-year-old tape. Enjoy every memory. Embrace change. Keep relevant and try to look forward to the next step. Some may trip. Some will prevail. But those that don’t try will get trampled by those that do.
I look forward to seeing you at our E4’s.